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Thread: A stupid noob post

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default A stupid noob post

    I am very keen to get started in home automation.

    I am looking at the various systems you have reviewed here and I am inclined to go down the webclick route as it seems to be solely based on IP and therefore I think I only would have to install Cat5e.

    Am I correct in think that the system can be controled totally through a HTML interface?


    Is there anywhere were I can get an unbiased pro and con type review/comparison between the systems available.

    I want to have a go at installing multi play too which I presume will mean a bit of programming into the existing systems which means that they should have some sort of API.

    Sorry for asking such stupid questions but I really am finding it hard to decide which system is best for me

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Most web based or Ethernet based controllers do quite often need an interface to the actual control module, which then sends the signals out to the various modules.
    Just because a system uses CAT5 cable doesn't mean it uses IP protocols. Various systems use CAT5 cable for distribution of signals.
    Controllers that have a network connection usually have some form of web based interface.
    I think you need to look at what you want to achieve.
    Just turn lights on of off.
    Create that lived in look.
    Security functions and CCTV
    Heating control
    PC or non pc based- I prefer non pc based. PCs are still prone to various PC related problems such as viruses, crashes and windows upate sometimes throws a spanner in the works, especially if it wants to restart the machine. The what happens if you have a power cut. Will your machine reboot automatically, then load the HA software etc.
    Quite often separate but often running on the same backbone of CAT5 cable is whole house audio and video.
    Also think about what you may want to do with it in the future.
    Once you have got this written down you can then start to disregard certain systems and then look at others in more depth.
    Also budget plays a big part in the equation as well.
    Hope this helps, but no doubt this has possibly raised more questions then it has answered. Good luck.
    Oh and its better to ask stupid questions than ask nothing. I always think its the stupid questions that further our knowledge of things.
    Last edited by toscal; 8th April 2008 at 07:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    I do not want to go down the windows route, with the possible exception of NT with little work to do I would not consider any windows OS stable enough to install and leave to its on devices (more or less). Bet that stirs the hornets nest.

    I want to be able to do the following

    1. Temperature/Humidity Control
    2. CCTV monitoring over IP
    3. Multi Play using IP Streaming
    4. Lighting Control
    5. Linking to Burglar alarms/PIR to detect intruders - blink lights, sound alarms, notify authorities, sms messages
    6. Automate gates and Garage doors
    7. Automate trigger points ( by this i mean if I come into the drive the lighting to the doorway comes on, and the house "wakes up"


    If you guys think that there is a must have that I missed let me know.

    I think looking at the webbrick that it can do this and it uses python so I can program if need be.

    I also like the way that it has an option to add UPS's.

    I am planning to do this in both mine and a friends house

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    1. Temperature/Humidity Control - 1wire devices spring to mind here.
    2. CCTV monitoring over IP - Probably better to connect normal cameras to a DVR that has an Ethernet connection. Otherwise for every IP camera you connect you will have another Ip address to remember
    3. Multi Play using IP Streaming - For just Audio Sonos is probably a good choice.
    4. Lighting Control - Various solutions to this one, from X10, Cbus, KNX/EIB, Idratek, Z-wave and many more
    5. Linking to Burglar alarms/PIR to detect intruders - blink lights, sound alarms, notify authorities, sms messages - Various solutions some integrate better into the HA environment.
    6. Automate gates and Garage doors - MHouse do some nice openers www.mhouse.biz though they are not cheap, but fairly straight forward to install.
    7. Automate trigger points ( by this i mean if I come into the drive the lighting to the doorway comes on, and the house "wakes up") - Once again various ways to achieve this, Press the remote to open the gate and the lights come on. Or for a hands off approach you could use RFID tags. So when you are about 15m away from the gate, it opens automatically and the lights come on.

    As regards to controllers have a look at Homevision, www.csi3.com While its native support is for X10 many people have been using it for Cbus, PLC-bus and a few others. The HV forum is very active. And it can be used as a stand alone controller so no PC. It is also possible to connect it to either Linux machine or a PC via the HomevisionXl software, http://hv.tclcode.com/ .

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